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My Soup Cleanse Cookbook—just released at the end of August—is really about how small steps can make a difference in your health. I hope to help people reunite with the peace and ease of eating with simple recipes and mindful techniques, so they can establish a joyful relationship with the foods that are most nourishing. It’s not an all-or-nothing meal plan. I still eat plenty of croissants—and talk about that in the book.

My Chickpea Avocado-Tahini Purée is a simple recipe that does a lot for you: It’s smooth and creamy, so you can even enjoy it chilled in a travel mug on-the-go. I think of it like a savory smoothie and find it to be a super nice start to my day. I love the combination of healthy fat from the avocado and protein from the chickpeas because it really keeps me going, and the lemon and lime zest deliver just the right amount of personality.


½  pound dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained, or 1 can (15

ounces) low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 ½ quart water plus more as needed (reduce to 1 quart if using canned


1 cup ice

2 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

3 very ripe avocados, halved and flesh scooped out

Peel 1 lemon, grated (about 2 teaspoons)

Juice of 1 lemon

Peel 1 lime, grated (about 2 teaspoons)

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ teaspoon sea salt (omit if using canned beans)



  1. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, simmer the chickpeas and water for 25 minutes, or until the chickpeas are very tender. Drain the liquid. (Skip this step if using canned chickpeas.)
  2. In a countertop blender, add the chickpeas, ice, tahini, chives, avocados, lemon peel, lemon juice, lime peel, lime juice and salt. Blend until a smoothie-like consistency, adding more water as needed.

— Nicole Centeno

Nicole Centeno is a French Culinary Institute–trained chef and the founder and CEO of Splendid Spoon, an e-commerce business that provides all the tools and meals you need to create a peaceful relationship with food and your body. At Boston College, she studied diet therapies as treatment for illness and has taught cooking and nutrition courses at Columbia University. Centeno has also cooked in New York City restaurants, managed a catering business and worked in media strategy at Condé Nast. Centeno is the author of the new Soup Cleanse Cookbook, published by Rodale. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her two sons

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